No matter how many worthless face masks and test kits, the People’s Republic of Coronavirus sends to European countries, they will continue to kowtow to Beijing. If only the European governments were as comfortable confronting China as they are America.
Bowing to heavy pressure from Beijing, European Union officials softened their criticism of China this week in a report documenting how governments push disinformation about the coronavirus pandemic, according to documents, emails and interviews.
The initial European Union report, obtained by The New York Times, was not particularly strident: a routine roundup of publicly available information and news reports.
It cited Beijing’s efforts to curtail mentions of the virus’s origins in China, in part by blaming the United States for spreading the disease internationally. It noted that Beijing had criticized France as slow to respond to the pandemic and had pushed false accusations that French politicians used racist slurs against the head of the World Health Organization. The report also highlighted Russian efforts to promote false health information and sow distrust in Western institutions.
“China has continued to run a global disinformation campaign to deflect blame for the outbreak of the pandemic and improve its international image,” the initial report said. “Both overt and covert tactics have been observed.”
And then China cracked the whip, and the EU joined the disinformation campaign.
But China moved quickly to block the document’s release, and the European Union pulled back. The report had been on the verge of publication, until senior officials ordered revisions to soften the language.
“The Chinese are already threatening with reactions if the report comes out,” Lutz Güllner, a European Union diplomat, wrote to colleagues on Tuesday in an email seen by The Times.
The sentence about China’s “global disinformation” campaign was removed, as was any mention of the dispute between China and France. Other language was toned down.
In the US, Chinese disinformation campaigns included inciting panic about the virus and claiming through text messages that President Trump intends to declare martial law. But Europe continues to put Made in China ahead of any pride, dignity, and truth.